Saturday, August 27, 2011

Making History...Again

There is one baseball team whose name is synonymous with records: 27 World Series Titles, 39 Pennants, 39 Hall of Famers, 17 Retired Numbers, and the list continues.  That team would be the New York Yankees.  And they continued yesterday racking up the records by hitting 3 grand slams in one game--a feat that in over a hundred years of baseball had never been accomplished.  (For non-baseball fans, a grand slam is a home run with bases loaded.)

It appeared at the beginning of the game that the Oakland Athletics were going to sweep the three game series as they quickly jumped out in front with a 7-1 lead, sending starting pitching Philip Hughes to the showers and many fans home.  However, in the fifth inning things began to change as Robinson Cano hit the first grand slam of the day, following by Russell Martin in the 8th, and Curtis Granderson in the 8th.

By the 9th inning the Yankees had a 22-8 lead over the A's causing Jorge Posada, a career catcher, to tell Joe Giradi that he was going out to play 2nd base so that the regular players could get some rest.

As the great Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra once said, "It ain't over till it's over." And that was never so true as yesterday.  Final score?  22-9.  (And YES, that is a baseball, not football score!)

Yanks rout A's with MLB record three slams

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Review: Decision Points

I just finished President George W. Bush's memoirs this week and thought that maybe I would begin doing some book reviews on the political and history books I read (which accounts for most of my reading).

It only took me about seven months to read "Decision Points" compliments of being a full time college student (including summer).  It was an excellent read.  President Bush wrote it in a different format by focusing on many of the key decisions he had to make during his presidency which I found extremely engaging. Throughout the book, he works in times in his life growing up that influenced him when making  decisions as president.

I think I found his thoughts on the War on Terror most interesting since I have done a lot of reading and research myself on different aspects of it. At the end of the book he discussed the financial crisis facing our nation as he was leaving office, expressing his concerns for the future and well-being of the US if he had not acted in the way he did.

It gave me a far better appreciation of the position of president and what he must face.  I came away realizing how unfair it is for me to sit back and judge every decision President Bush made.  It is so easy in hindsight to say that he should or shouldn't have done something, but I was not sitting in the Oval office with the weight of the future of our nation on my shoulders at that exact moment attempting to make the best decision possible.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pikes Peak - My America!

I recently had the pleasure of riding on the Cog Railway up Pikes Peak with some friends. The scenery was beautiful on the journey, however, I did not see any large wildlife.  It holds a special place in American Patriotic music as from the 14,110 summit Katherine Lee Bates saw amber waves of grain, purple mountains majesty, and spacious skies, resulting the her inspiration for "America the Beautiful."

Monday, August 15, 2011


Just a quick clarification, I have not made any decision on who I think is the best person for president.  I am reserving that until the field is sorted out regarding who is in and who is out.  Yes, I have strong feelings for and against certain candidates but I have not endorsed anyone specific yet.

Exit Pawlenty...

Well, as one candidate enters the presidential race and gets his campaign going, another one quits. Tim Pawlenty announced that he was ending his bid for the White House today after finished third in the Iowa Straw Poll on Saturday.  I cannot say that I am sorry to see Tim Pawlenty go, however, I do feel sorry for him after all the time and money he has invested, for it to come to a close so soon.  I feel his duel with Michele Bachmann in the debate early this week hurt him a lot.

I wish him the best as he moves forward from this.

Iowa Straw Poll

This week was the first time that I ever paid attention to, and followed the Iowa Straw Poll.  I found it interesting, though I do not know enough about it to fully understand its significance in the long term scope of things. Michele Bachmann as winner was no surprise to me.  I excepted it, as did most the media. 

What I did find interesting was Ron Paul coming in second.  I really do not like the guy, never have and never will.  In the debate, his stance on foreign matters was so far left that I am surprise Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid did not come out in support of it. I also expected him not do well in the straw poll either because of those comments.  I am shocked at the number of duped American who support him.  Thankfully they are a small minority who only seem to show up at straw polls and are not large enough for him to win at a national level.

The other outcome that I found to be the most surprising and delightful of the day was Rick Perry. For someone who until the day of the straw poll was not an official candidate, had not previously been to Iowa, and was a write-in, he did extremely well. Especially considering that he ranked higher then Mitt Romney who is leading in the national polls.

The final interesting result to me was that Sarah Palin did not registrar in the rankings. I do realize that she has not stated her intentions one way or another as to her candidacy, but I did except some people to vote for her in hopes that it could cause her to run and to show their support.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Enter Perry...

Another candidate officially announced his run for president today -- Rick Perry, Governor of Texas.  I have been waiting all summer for this day and am so glad it is finally here.  I feel that he is one of the best candidates out there and one of only two people who can beat Obama, the other being Sarah Palin (who I hope still enters). 

Welcome to the race, Governor Perry, America needs you.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Romneycare vs. Obamacare

One of the hot topics during this Presidential race concerns Mitt Romney and his passing of the controversial mandated healthcare law in Massachusetts. It surprises me sometimes how little people know about our United States Constitution and the intent of the Founding Fathers.  People often hear a commentator or friend say something and then begin spouting the same rhetoric as their own without first checking the facts.

Romneycare, as it has been labeled, is 100% Constitutional and Obamacare is 100% NOT Constitutional. Before I get "tarred and feather," please "read" me out.

Article 1, Section 8, of the United States Constitution lists all the powers given to the Federal Government in which they mandate and legislate.  Amendment X states that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

The national health care law passed by the United States Congress is unconstitutional.  No where in the Constitution is Congress given the power to mandate such laws.  The Federal government was designed to only oversee certain areas which would be a challenge for the states to manage.  Everything else was left up to the States to orchestrate.  If a person did not like the laws of one state, then they had the option to move to another state.  If the Federal government institutes a law that a person dislikes, there is no recourse of action.

Consequently, if a states wishes to mandate that all its residents have insurance and its state constitution does not prohibit it, then it is legal. The Massachusetts State Constitution does not prohibit the passing of the healthcare law in its state.  Mitt Romney has stressed this over and over, that what he did in his state was legal and constitutional, but what President Obama did is not legal and unconstitutional.  Sadly, most Americans do not have a strong enough understanding of the US Constitution to realize this distinction.

If you have never read the Massachusetts State Constitution, I encourage you to for two reason. 1) So that will see what I am saying is correct, and 2) much of the US Constitution was based off the Massachusetts Constitution, they are very similar documents.

One more comment about states' rights.  In last night's debate, one of the candidates implied that the 10th Amendment gave the states the right to pass any law they please. Rick Santorum correctly rebutted that they only have the power to pass laws that are in accordance with Biblical principles. Our country was founded on Christian principles, and thus, any law that is passed at state or federal level which violates the Bible is WRONG! So when the argument is raised that a state can pass a law legalizing gay marriage, it is wrong, because the Bible numerous times clearly states that marriage is between one man and one women.

This post is not an endorsement of Romney, but an attempt to clear up some misconceptions about some of his policies as governor that is getting too much in the way of other more important issues. I am also not saying the I agree with mandate health insurance.  Personally, I do not want anyone tell me that I have to have insurance or what type (I do have it though).  As I have previously stated, I am just pointed out the a state mandate health care law is legal and constitutional.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Iowa GOP Presidential Debate

I have been slacking the last couple of week in writing. Partially because I haven't felt like there was as much to write about, but mostly because I was busy preparing and doubling up on homework for the wedding of my best friend and "adopted" sister last weekend in Oregon in which I was a bridesmaid.

I spent my evening tonight like many other Americans, watching the GOP presidential debate. It was the first one of this presidential race that I had the chance to view. Overall, I felt it was good and very revealing as to where the candidates stand and their personality in the heat of a race. I felt the moderators could have done better at giving all candidates an equal amount of questions and time to talk. Chris Wallace's questions came across to me as seeking to stir up animosity between candidates. The debates are not to be about the candidates themselves, but about their views and stances in order enable the people to make an educated decision on who they feel is best able to represent our country in the White House.

Each of the candidates had some stellar and not so stellar moments.

Michele Bachmann - Frankly, I was not overly impressed with her tonight. Up until this point, she has been one of my favorites of the declared candidates. I felt that she was warding off a lot of attacks, that were more personal than policy. Thus, she was not able to express her stance as much as she needed to. Her performance was neutral for me.

Herman Cain - I like him a lot and he has many great points, especially regarding the economy and the private business sector. However, he has absolutely NO political experience at any level, thus, in today's age of politics, I feel that he is unqualified and would not make an excellent president. Again, I feel his performance tonight was neutral.

Newt Gingrich - If only he would just a tad bit more handsome. =) As the commentators afterwards mentioned, Newt had one of those memorable debate moments when he took Chris Wallace to task about the media coverage and "got 'em" questions. He was by far the strongest candidate tonight. His answers weren't about him, but about the country and how to turn it around. He gave honest, practical, real solutions to our problems. He was the winner of the debate, but I am afraid he can not win the national election.

Jon Hunstman - I feel like he is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He attempts to spout conservative rhetoric but I am afraid he is a moderate liberal. He is completely full of himself and his record and accomplishments. The fact that he worked under Obama in any capacity is an immediate red flag for me (and he wasn't a hold over from Bush either). He gave no real solutions. All he could say is "I am proud........." He was a loser tonight.

Ron Paul - Another candidate who is filled with his own ambitions and rhetoric. He is a has been. It seems that every election cycle he enters just to voice his isolationist opinions. He is wrong on most of what he says.He claims to be the voice of liberty and constitutionalism but does not seem to have any understanding as to the real desires and motivating factors of our Founding Fathers and what the Constitution means. Every now and then he has a good point, like the broken clock which is right only twice a day. He needs to drop out for the sake of everyone else. He was even quite rude to Santorum at one point, not shutting up himself, yet not allowing Santorum to voice his thoughts. He also was a loser tonight.

Tim Pawlenty - And the final loser, not because of his policy like the other two, but his attitude. He attacked Michele Bachmann in an extremely unprofessional manner going almost after her as a person and tearing down her record and stances left and right. Any time he could slip in an attack at another candidate, he did. He appeared to be desperately holding on by any means possible. Plus, he was wrong on numerous policies stances, such as the 10th Amendment, implying that states could pass whatever laws they deemed fit.

Mitt Romney - A little too moderate for me, but was the most presidential of all candidates tonight. He was cool, calm, and collective, not allowing attacks by others to get to him. He did have some great points. At one point he defended his controversial mandated health care law, which, he is right on that the Massachusetts Constitution did give him the authority to pass it. I feel that his religious beliefs are a hindrances to him winning the election. He was definitely a winner as well though.

Rick Santorum -I felt sorry for him because he was not getting as many questions or the opportunity to speak as much as the other candidates. However, when he was given the opportunity, I really appreciated what he had to say. For me, his stellar moment came when he was discussing the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, which states that any powers not directly given to the federal government are reserved for the states. Many people take that to mean that the states can pass whatever law they desire. Santorum made an excellent point however, that our nation and Constitution were founded on Biblical principles and thus, if a state seeks to pass a law that violates the Bible, then it is wrong and should not be allowed. His performance was a plus for me.

Overall, I was very much impressed with the candidates. I wish Rick Perry and Sarah Palin had been part of this debate. I would have enjoyed hearing their thoughts on the different issues, particularly Perry. Romney and Gingrich were a close tie for winner, but I think in the end I'd have to give it to Gingrich.

At this point in the race I do know who I will not support (Pawlenty, Hunstman, Cain, and Paul). Still analyzing the other candidates as to who I feel is best qualified and electable. As you consider who you will support and vote for, don't just take what the news stations, websites, blogs, radio talk show hosts, etc., say about a particular candidate, but research them for yourself. Listen to when they are interviewed live. That is the best way to know each one of them so that you can make an educated choice.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Debt Deadline Bill

The deadline came and passed and Congress made a deal, a compromising one. I don't agree with what the House did but they were between a rock and a hard place. I do believe that if the Republicans had continued to hold their ground, the Democrats would have caved in. If they had not reached a deal, our government would not have gone into default as often predicted, the government just couldn't have financed all their pet projects. However, it could have backfired on the Republicans and they would be blamed for any financial failure that might have resulted. I do think towards the end, they just wanted to get it done though. This bill was a compromise that shouldn't have happened. We are not getting the overall cuts we need, and the military is going to be cut way too much. The Republicans did fail in allowing this bill to pass, yet they did not have as much of a choice as they would have liked.